Shrimp a la Pomodoro

A traditional Italian Pomodoro sauce is made from extra virgin olive oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic, basil and other herbs and salt and pepper. It is the most classic Italian starter dish around. It is part of the Italian identity. But believe it or not, as much as we identify this dish as an Italian dish, it is really a fusion, as so many wonderful dishes are. Pasta originated in China and tomatoes were a gift presented to the Europeans from Spain via the New World.

The name Pomodoro literally means “golden apple”. The reason for the name is that first tomatoes in Italy were a little bit yellow in color, making them resemble their local apples.  Pomme, in French means apple. In Italy, tomatoes were originally called pomi d’oro or golden apple. Many sauces are made with a tomato base, including Pomodoro’s cousin, marinara sauce. What is the difference between the two sauces? They are both tomato based sauces, but a marinara sauce is usually a very thick, rich sauce, usually used with heavier, heartier food, whereas the Pomodoro sauce is very light and is not a thick sauce at all, and it is used with lighter dishes.

You all know how I get so tickled when I can recreate from my leftovers. When I made my bruschetta the other day, Wine and Nibblies I had quite a bit of my bruschetta mix leftover. I also had a bit more of another tomato based sauce I had made for something else. They were both more or less the same thing, with very similar ingredients, and were almost identical to a Pomodoro sauce. So I combined those together, added more garlic, shallots, sweet baby tomatoes and basil, along with some shrimp and angel hair pasta , and voila … Shrimp a la Pomodoro was created. I paired this up with some garlic cheese bread and a light chardonnay to make for a perfect Italian dinner.

I used leftovers for mine, but this is a recipe for a simple, traditional pomodoro sauce.

Shrimp a la Pomodoro

3 lbs tomatoes, diced

1-2 TBSP garlic

1/4 extra virgin olive oil

1-2 shallots

salt & pepper to taste

2-TBSP fresh basil, cut in chiffonade or cut into very thin strips

Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil for about 5minutes, or until they are soft and translucent. Then add the tomatoes, basil and seasonings and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently.

I sauted my shrimp in one of my new olive oils from Viva Oliva !Viva Oliva! I used the Tuscan Herb olive oil for the shrimp. WOW!!! It added subtle hints of basil, oregano and thyme and the shrimp just came to life.

Once the shrimp were completely cooked, I removed them from the heat and made the rest of the sauce. I used my leftovers, and just added to what I already had, but if you were making your pomodoro sauce fresh, you would add the cooked shrimp into the sauce when it was done.

When everything is done, serve it atop some cooked angel hair pasta. Because this is a light sauce, you don’t want to use a heavy pasta. You will lose all the fresh flavors of the sauce if you do. Top it with a little extra fresh basil and Parmigiano or mozzarella if you like, and Buon Appetito! Dinner is served. !Mangia!

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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